Specialist Sports Shops ... or are they?

Hello All

Long time no post. Hope everyone is well. Now I am back on my feet I feel I can visit the forums again without feeling de-motivated.

Anyway, I have just had to re-register and I was asked from where did I buy my trainers? I looked at the options and the Sweatshop was classed as a specialist sports shop. I did buy my trainers from a shop specialising in running so had to tick that box. However, I would not go to the Sweatshop if someone paid me owing to the lack of competence some staff members had when I was buying a new pair of trainers last year. The staff member was so un-aware of qualities for running trainers. Because I was wrongly advised, I underwent so many injuries because I had illfitting trainers. I've learnt to diagnose myself now (but a running shop in Beckenham, Kent is superb!)

Does anyone agree with me about the Sweatshop? I can't be the only one who has experienced this.

Gem x


  • Hi Gemma.
    I agree. In fact it was the same branch of Sweatshop that I bught a pr. of trainers that were absolutely the wrong type for my running. I then went to the runners shop in Bechenham and was very impressed with the service and the trainers that I bought.
    I was in portsmouth recently and decided to buy a second pair from Alexandra sports. The service there was so thorough, in fact they do a very thorough assessment of your feet and form before you even begin to choose shoes. They also have a podiatrist visit on Saturdays that you can see for £10. If you canget to Portsmouth that's the place to get you trainers from. Great selection of kit and allied products as well.
  • I found that Sweatshop in Woking very good. First time my feet were looked at and the second time I also used the Adidas footscan which confirmed the original foot strike and shoe requirements. In addition they were keen to check the size and encouraged me to go for a quick run in them outside before committing.

    On the other hand I did try the Reading branch once and found the guy over there a little to laid back and non helpfull. I guess it just comes down to the store in question.
  • I have used the one in Chorley and the guy who served me was excellent.
  • I once used the one in Maidstone and got good advice.
  • The chap in Bristol couldn't have been more helpful.
  • I bought my trainers in the Sweatshop in Finchley. They used the Adidas Footscan, and than recomended a shoe, with wich I am very happy.
  • I went to the Sweatshop in Nottingham. Excellent service. After going on the Adidas footscan, I tried at least 6 pairs of shoes on the treadmill and was very happy with my purchase.

    Think it all depends on the staff on the day.

  • I'm with Keith on this one. For me the Woking Sweatshop has always been great - I've been using them for 4 years-ish.

    Happy Shambler!
  • I second the compliments to Alexandra Sports in Portsmouth.I first went there after my 1st Half marathon, nursing about 5 blisters and walking as if with a phantom horse under me. The owner,Brian sorted me out within 20 minutes and I have continued to get both footwear and other technical clothing from there as well. They will also give affiliated club runners, 10% discount.
    It is sad however, that there appear to be so few specialist shops in the central south of England. Living as I do in Southampton, Portsmouth is not too far to travel, but such stores are few and far between when one considers the number of regular runners in the south.
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